I could enjoy writing up German wines almost entirely because of their wonderfully extended names. This wine, from Mosel-based producer Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben, is a dry Riesling made from Ürzig Würzgarten fruit. Because I was located in Wehlen during the 2013 vintage, my tasting naturally focused on wines from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Graacher Domprobst and Graacher Himmelreich vineyards. I never made it around the bend to Ürzig, which is a shame because its wines carry a reputation and I would have liked to have gotten to know the area. There’s always next time, I suppose.
In the meantime, I can at least taste the wines. The nose is showing some age at this stage, with a hint of harsh kerosene over dominant notes of preserved lemon and minerals. This wine smells cold and chiselled, not precise so much as hard and masculine. I really like the depth of minerality on the nose, although I do feel it’s quite unyielding too. In the mouth, a fairly dry experience with phenolics bringing up the rear and adding plenty of texture. Flavours remain in the sour lemon, mineral and toast spectrum. Acid is quite prominent and combines with the wine’s dry extract to create a powdery mid- and after-palate. Reasonable length.
What’s here seems correct for the style, and it’s definitely showing signs of age without any sense of tiredness. I do wish for a bit less affront, though; there’s precious little fruit weight to dig into, and the wine rests mostly on its austerity and angles. One for purists.
Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben